How successful is your personal image business? Are you a ‘good image consultant’? I often receive emails from image consultants who have seen great success in their business but if you’ve not been so fortunate, you might like to take inspiration from these ladies who got up off their butt and took some action! This first one is from Jane who lives in England. She completed my colour analysis course just a few years ago:
The second one is from Judith who completed my colour analysis training:
What about your business plans?
Do you have any plans at all? If not, then maybe this is the time to think about what you want from your business?
What is the potential?
Will I earn any money at this? One thing we must take into account here first is that you may not be considering taking a training course in image, colour or style for business reasons at all. If you wish to use colour & style to help you with your personal development, and you have the time to invest in a professional training course, then that’s fine too. I find that most ladies and gentlemen who contact me, though, are looking at this as a way of making money; this could be part-time or full-time income and this business is fabulous for both.
In over 40 years, I have:
- run a full-time business
- run it alongside a different job (like freelance computer work)
- put it to one side completely when life, family, work and other such joys have taken precedence
- picked it up again when it suited me
- worked for other related businesses on their premises
- rented my own premises, but I prefer to, and currently, run my business from home
- run my business abroad
The potential and flexibility of this business is phenomenal and I expect to be still madly consulting right up to the day I drop!
Great time to start
This is a great time to start a business as an image consultant. There are plenty of television programmes (and associated magazine articles and books) about how to look good and how to choose clothes. Most of those incite interest, but leave people wondering whether it will really work for them.
Did you know?
80% of ‘victims’ on such TV shows revert back to type within 6 weeks of the show being aired! This is because there’s no real substance to the conversion. It’s all done at a superficial level, just for television, in an alarmingly short time span, and the poor client hasn’t been given in-depth information that THEY can use later when shopping, creating a wardrobe or applying make-up.
This alone could create the basis of a great business for you, especially if you are really interested in helping others to look and feel good – for the rest of their lives.
The current population of the UK alone is around 68 million. If we split that three ways for men, women and children, there must be over 20 million women out there, a huge market of ladies who are looking for ways to improve their lives, their self-esteem and their confidence.
Typically, what price would you charge a person for the service you provide, i.e. identifying their colours? There is no industry-standard price. Some hobbyists charge £35 including the wallet and, in my opinion, this cheapens the whole industry. Other business-minded consultants charge upwards of £150 per hour or session.
The final price you charge depends on:
- your target market
- your location
- how long you spend with a client (one hour or all day will make a huge difference to your fees)
- what your outgoings are (travel, office rental)
- what you give them to take away (wallet, documentation)
- and most importantly, how much YOU think you and your service are worth
We look at all this and how to calculate your charges on my training courses. The course fees are an investment in your future business. If you charged a mere £50 for a consultation, and you wouldn’t be doing that for long, I can assure you, then you would recoup your investment quickly. I will show you how to earn your fees back in a matter of days.
Are you business minded?
At the end of the day, it will all depend on you, your attitude, your determination, and your approach to your new business. If you are thinking of making money from your new business, then you need to adopt a business mindset from the very beginning.
You will need to consider the practicalities of setting up a business and how you’re going to fund your training , colour supplies , premises, advertising, administration, book-keeping, accountancy, ongoing training and development, marketing, and living expenses while you get the business off the ground.
If you are looking to borrow money, then you will need a business plan to present to potential investors or lenders. You will also need to consider how to schedule your time for developing your new business, especially if you already have a busy diary full of commitments.
I can be your business coach/mentor to help you through this process. Just contact me for a chat.
So many image consultants get caught up in the euphoria of colour analysis itself and fail to plan or work on how to make this business work. My training courses, with full help & support, together with ongoing training and development are all designed to help you achieve a successful business. You do not have to work on your own; we are always here to help you, and just remember this, how do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time.
Will you make a good image consultant?
YOU are the key element in your business.
On my training courses, to help you decide whether the seasonal or tonal approach works best for you, you’ll have the opportunity to take a good long look at YOU and your personal qualities using a colour personality profiling system, which you can then use with your own clients.
You’ll soon work out:
- how you relate to colour
- how you assimilate information
- how you disseminate information
- how you’re going to cope when someone who’s the complete opposite of you walks in!
This stuff is really fascinating and makes my courses completely different from most others.
Are you a people person?
This profession is for people who seriously want to see others improving themselves and the quality of their lives. If you want to work at something just for the money, my advice is to do something else. You will be working closely with clients who want to make serious changes in their lives; you just can’t mess about with this.
Can you listen?
Listening is one of the greatest skills you can bring to this business. I have come across so many image consultants who rattle on, usually about themselves, without stopping for breath and then wonder why they get no repeat business or recommendations.
Let’s put this into perspective, a colour or style consultation is never about you! It’s about your client and one of the most respectful things you can do is to listen to him or her. This may be the first time in years that anyone has actually sat and listened to what your poor client has to say.
Your unique selling proposition
YOU are your unique selling proposition (USP). After all, no-one comes to you for colour or style; they’re coming for confidence. They could just as easily go to Ermentrude down the road for colour analysis, and to Brunhilde for style, but if they choose to come to you, it will because they relate to YOU and your personality.
How do you learn?
- Are you a visual, auditory, or kinaesthetic learner?
- And what if your client learns in a completely different way from you?
- How are you going to communicate with her?
If you are primarily visual, you will learn by seeing and reading. If you are primarily auditory, you will learn by listening and speaking. If you are kinaesthetic or tactile, you will learn by touching and doing. You will probably be a combination of two or all of them.
It will definitely help you with your clients to understand why sometimes you don’t seem to be getting through to some people. It could be that they learn in a completely different way from you. We look at this in all my courses.
This business is about psychology.
Most consultants come to realise that image consulting is about coaching, nurturing, and developing our clients through a period of change. You might be busy concentrating on the drapes, what colours are in the wallet, which lipstick to try, but all that will be relatively unimportant to your client.
She’s there for all sorts of reasons, and I have found that colour analysis is just a non-confrontational way for clients to approach whichever one it is, and it will always include change of some sort.
If your client really knew at a conscious level that she was going through this process, then she’d have booked to see a life coach, but she hasn’t, so that’s why they come to see us. This is not necessarily true when a man books to see you; their agenda is usually completely different and we cover all the whys and wherefores on my Men’s Image and Corporate Image training courses. Just contact me if you’re interested in these courses.
What experience do you need?
Just to reassure you, no practical experience is required to start learning about colour analysis.
Life is just about the best experience you can offer in this business, but the most important element is YOU, your character, your desire to help, and your interest in people and, I’m happy to say, you can’t fake that because potential clients can see straight through those who aren’t really interested.
Develop your skills & build your business
Do you dream of owning your own independent image consultancy? You have an incredible opportunity right here to make it a reality. Your confidence will increase ten-fold and your friends, family and clients will look to you as the expert. People will ask for your advice because they will know instinctively that you know what you’re talking about. You will be building the business you always wanted, and be getting paid for it too.
The training I offer will certainly teach you to show your clients how to choose clothes, make-up, hair styles, jewellery, glasses, shoes, and accessories to make them look and feel fabulous all the time. But this is so much more than just which colours to wear.
This is about confidence
Let’s be real here.
Colour, style, image, whatever you want to call it, is not about the drapes. It’s not even about you merrily dispensing colour or style advice. It’s about you giving your clients confidence. It’s about you making people look wonderful and feel fabulous about themselves ALL the time. It’s about you helping people get what they want from life, and that includes you too.
Learn how to understand and work with each individual client. What does she actually want to learn from you? This may be very different from what you were intending to tell her! Why has she booked to see YOU, and not Ethelreda down the road?
Learn how to build rapport and a long-term relationship. Learn how you can get the right information across to each individual client because we’re all different and learn in different ways.
Learn how to give each lady an occasion to remember. She’ll then tell all her friends that they absolutely must book to see you. Learn wow to work with each client on her journey to a new wardrobe and a potential new lifestyle.
And, in return, you will not only get paid for making people look and feel fabulous, but this will feed your very soul. Just read how Carol feels about her new career:
All our training is built around you
Each course starts with a course manual, because there are fundamentals that we must cover, but my training is flexible to ensure it meets your needs. My courses are all offered as individual modules so that you can pick just the one you need right now, or you can choose the Ultimate Program which includes practically everything in one package.
Every single course majors on showing you how to make money from your business. You may know a subject inside out but if you haven’t got any customers, you don’t have a business. How to market your services is crucial to the future success of your business.
VIP 1-1 face-to-face training is delivered in a central UK location and if you don’t want to travel you can choose my online self-study options which are available to everyone around the world. Contact me for a chat about the course options best for you.
The training manual was easy to read, professionally presented. You made the course fun and entertaining and you were inspirational. You practise what you preach. You’re a good role model and ideal mentor, you provided lots of ideas and ways to move our businesses forward. You came across professional and also wanted us to do well and therefore provide us with open and honest knowledge to ensure we go away feeling confident to run a successful image consultancy.
I would like to thank you for the time you spent and for being supportive and providing me with such a good role model as yourself.
Why train at all?
Do you need a professional qualification to operate as an image consultant?
No, as there aren’t laws that say you have to have a qualification to set up as an image consultant. Here in the UK, the Federation of Image Professionals International (FIPI), previously the Federation of Image Consultants (TFIC), of which I was a founding member, encourage you to spend money on their qualification but this is absolutely not a requirement in any sense of the word and not what I would recommend.
You could just read books, surf the internet, and conjure up your own methods of colour analysis but then you’d be missing out on the oceans of experience available to you from experienced professionals.
The fees for training with a reputable company such as mine may seem expensive but we are seasoned professionals passing on extremely valuable knowledge gained over a long period of time that will enable you to go out and earn good money for yourself. The fees and time are an investment in your business, and will give you the confidence to know that you are providing the absolute best for your clients.
Personally, I go on at least three training, mastermind and mentoring programs every year so that I make sure I’m giving my clients and trainees the most up-to-date service I can. Many courses cost me more than twice as much as I charge – for the same time investment – but it is well worth it in the long run.
An investment in your future
Professional training is an investment in your future. Also consider your personality. Would it help your confidence levels to display a training course diploma?
Will there be a Diploma at the end of my courses?
My courses include internationally-recognised diplomas for you to display in your studio.
The Improvability Diploma is awarded to trainees who have successfully completed my course modules. They’re absolutely nothing to do with GNVQ or City & Guilds or such like; qualifications which are, in my opinion, way below the high standards required for the successfull image consultant, dynamic business owner, and entrepreneur.
There’s no way I would ever want to meet the restrictions imposed by either of those bodies, or any other for that matter. Dynamic business training tailored to meet your specific needs just doesn’t work with a rigid course syllabus and I don’t work that way. I offer franchise-free training, coaching and mentoring for independent free-thinkers.
Should you train with me?
- If you want a business with no restrictions then train with me
- If you want a tried-and-tested dynamic approach which is easy to follow, backed by real business advice to help you succeed, then train with me
- If you don’t like/want a franchise, I don’t run a franschise, so train with me
- If you really can’t stand being told what to do (like me) then train with me and choose a successful independent company with over 40 years in the business
What kind of training are you looking for?
Well, what do you want? Think it through carefully.
Question: I studied your home-study colour analysis course, and I must admit, it seemed too simple! So I started doing (another) course and am left wondering if the colours are the same in both courses.
Answer: I was so pleased to read that you thought my approach too easy. That’s exactly what I have set out to achieve. My course is meant to cut through the garbage, and make it as simple as possible to do the analysis.
After all, your clients are not coming to you for colour & style. They’re coming for confidence. Colour, wardrobe, style, whatever, is just one of the many tools to help them achieve it.
Sometimes, it’s just sitting listening to a client that will change her day, or her life. Sometimes it will be seeing herself in a truly flattering neutral that will change her wardrobe into a working unit overnight. Sometimes, it’s just one pointer that will give her the confidence and set her free to be who she really is.
Here’s a quote from an Improvability-trained image consultant, Jane, who emailed me:
You will find my approach so easy to follow, and it will definitely work for you. After all, you’re going to have to explain it to your clients, so understanding it first yourself would definitely help!
What should you learn first?
So many would-be image consultants come to me wanting to learn the lot – colour, style, shopping, wardrobe etc., everything together. Yes, you can choose my Ultimate Program and learn all these things at one fell swoop. This might be a good investment for your money as you can get all the information at one time. But will you really want everything all at once, or would your prefer course modules?
I offer both options. Some will want everything at once. Some won’t.
How do YOU want to learn?
Colour analysis first
I would strongly suggest that you learn Colour Analysis first. This is the first thing that everyone sees. If you’re busy explaining to a client that she needs a curvy-shaped jacket to suit her curvy-shaped figure, the first question she’s going to ask is, “What colour should I buy?” And if you don’t know, you’ll look a real twit.
My modular training is such a gentle approach and it’s also the way I treat my clients; I never do colour and style in the same consultation – it’s far too much information at one go. After 40+ years in the business I have learnt that women want and enjoy the journey of discovery.
I have tried running full-day workshops showing ladies their colours in the morning and their style and body shape in the afternoon. It’s too much and they go home with a big fat headache from overwhelm. I’ve done the same with a 1-1 consultation. It’s too much – for the same reason.
Your clients will generally only remember the last thing that you tell them and when they’ve had a good time, they want to come back for more. Give them the whole cannoli in one session and you’re just short-changing them. I will show you how to provide follow-on services to give your clients an opportunity to check with you on how well they’re doing. It’s brilliant service for your client and great business for you.
Do you want to work with make-up?
I don’t include make-up in my colour consultations; I concentrate on the colour analysis and may offer a make-up class as a separate follow-on service. Clients love the fact that they’re learning new things over a period of time and it gives them a great opportunity to build more ‘me’ time into their busy schedules.
Do you want to work with make-up? If you don’t, then don’t train with one of the big colour houses. They will expect you to include make-up in the consultation AND sell it to your clients. Decide if this is what you really want to do BEFORE you pay their course fees. I will show you how to work with or without make-up. You can offer expert advice on make-up colours without having to apply it and / or supply it.
After all, this is your business and you can do just what you want.
Ladies’ Personal Style
Become brilliant at colour first.
To encourage you, I ran an extremely successful business in colour alone for 17 years. You do not need style or wardrobe to build an income-producing business. If you want to add Personal Style later on, then you will already have a bank of colour clients waiting for you to contact them. This is also so much easier to teach by taking your client on a journey of self discovery, one step at a time.
How did you learn to tie your shoelaces?
On the very first attempt? I bet you didn’t.
How did you learn your times tables? Immediately?
If you’re answering yes to this one, your nose will soon be as long as Pinocchio’s. No, you practised over and over again, no doubt with the help of a parent or teacher encouraging you to keep at it. And that’s exactly what YOU need to provide for your client.
Personal Shopping & Wardrobe Planning
The Shopping & Wardrobe course I offer assumes that you already know colour and style inside out, and shows you how to run individual wardrobe weed-outs in a client’s home, how to run workshops for groups, and how to organise and manage personal shopping trips. You need to be able to diagnose a client’s colour direction, style personality and body shape by just casting your eye over her. The potential for expanding your business and your income is very high when you have the relevant experience, and experience only comes from practice.
My Men’s Image course is based on the assumption that you already understand colour analysis thoroughly. The language and presentation skills are completely different from those you will use with ladies. Men will not pay an image consultant to find out what colour T-shirt to wear down to the pub. They’re more likely consulting you on how to increase their income in the workplace.
You need to be able to diagnose a man’s colouring, style and body shape in a nanosecond, and it has to be spot on! You cannot practise colour and style skills on men. Practise on women first and learn all about women’s colouring, style and shape, then take on men only when you’re good and ready.
Question: I want to do colour analysis training and follow that with Corporate Image
Answer: There’s no way you can do corporate work without understanding style and fit for both ladies and gentlemen first.
In the corporate arena, no-one is going to pay for colour alone; they expect you to give advice on professional dressing, and you have to be very quick and extremely knowledgeable in these situations. Business people, men in particular, expect you to know your subject inside out and will show their disdain if you don’t know your stuff. Companies will be paying you a premium rate so will expect a top-notch, expert service.
My Colour Analysis course followed by my Ladies’ Personal Style course will give you a leg up into the corporate world; once you are confident working with individuals and know your subject in depth, you could start with women-only business events. Build your business one step at a time; in that way you will have a database of colour clients ready and waiting for you when you train in style.
Most importantly, be unique
Just because every other image consultant out there seems to offer everything under the sun to everyone and her mother doesn’t mean that you have to.
- If you don’t want to include make-up, then don’t
- If you don’t want to include style, then don’t
- If you don’t want to run workshops, then don’t
- If you don’t want to work with men, then don’t
- If you don’t want to work in the corporate sector, then don’t
Decide what YOU want to include in your portfolio of services. You might be utterly brilliant at shopping for a client; you may be an absolute whizz with colour. Build your services around what you love and what you’re good at (they’re usually the same thing), and your business will grow.
Build a long-term business
The question that has plagued me since I got into this business – Why is it that most image consultants show their clients colour, shape, style, everything in one fell swoop and then throw them out onto the street and expect them to put it all into operation overnight – on their own?
And yet, that’s the history of image consulting the world over. See a client once. Find a new client. This is so out of date. What a waste of energy for the consultant, and what a waste of time, money and effort for the poor client. You need to build a rapport with each client, build a relationship, even a friendship, so that this lovely person can enjoy the new discoveries about her / himself with you in the background to encourage and support them.
And from a business point of view, this makes good sense. It is 7 times more expensive to find a new client than it is to develop an existing one. When a lady has spent money with you and had a fabulous experience she will be desperate to repeat that fabulous experience.
So give her the opportunity to repeat it. Create follow-on services to meet her needs, and those don’t need to include style if you don’t want to. My training courses show you exactly how to do that.
Will my approach work for you?
Question: One slight doubt that I have concerning the home study courses is how I would know for sure that I had analysed a client’s colours correctly. If I were face to face with you, I’d be able to ask questions and perhaps go through a few photos or something to check I had the hang of it, whereas with distance learning, I am not sure how this would work. I’m sure you will have met with this sort of question before, so perhaps you would tell me how my skills would be assessed – how will you know when I’ve got it right?
Answer: I can assess your skills if you ask me, but there are no mandatory assessments or exams to take. Instead of completing assignments and me marking you as right or wrong, I offer courses with optional personal 1-to-1 business coaching, help & support. So you can send me photos of your clients with some notes about what YOU think and we can work through these together. I do offer face-to-face training too so just contact me for a chat to find out what’s best for you.
I want to help you with YOUR questions, which could be completely different from anyone else’s. Your particular questions will reflect your own business needs and how can I cater for those until we start talking it through? It’s personal coaching, which is much better for you than a formulaic test. And, in any case, there is no right or wrong in the world of colour.
There isn’t a scientist in the world who can categorically prove that you and I are seeing the same shade of any colour. Colour is subjective and anyone who tells you otherwise is talking balderdash!
It’s time to choose the right training & coaching for you.
You know I offer self-study and private 1-1 training, coaching and mentoring so just contact me for a chat.